Bring on the Night by Cycy Smith

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SUMMARY: I wrote this for an English exam at the age of 12 and decided to post it in a fit of nostalgia. You will have to excuse the bad punctuation.

It was the first time she had been out alone at night, she had camped at the bottom of her garden before but then her parents had been near by. Now she was alone, truly alone, in the middle of the woods.

She sat down at the base of a tree and pulled out her sleeping bag. Above her she heard the long mournful cry, an owl. The sound was strangely comforting, reminding her that she was not really alone; there were other animals, other living things.

She lay on her back and looked at the canopy of trees above her, a night time breeze flowed through them and the leaves rippled, seemingly with a life of their own. Through a gap she could see the moon, she realised that it had never shone so brightly on her before. Out here the night truly ruled, in the towns and cities humans tried to shut it out, lighting their streets and closing their doors. All humans are afraid of the night, she thought, or they wouldn't try and hide from it. It was foolish to try and hide and be afraid, the night had so much beauty, just look at the moon, shining so brightly.

Except the moon dies, she thought, suddenly full of sadness. It grows for just a while, but then it always shrinks and disappears. It comes again but it is always beaten in the end, the night always wins eventually. Not just the night, it is often hidden by clouds. There is so much darkness but we can still see the stars, although they are millions of light-years away. Their light reaches us, despite the expanses of dark in the way light is stronger, no matter how far it comes. She realised she had never thought this way before. Night is a powerful thing, to provoke such thoughts and feelings, she wondered if night took everybody this way. Is that why we shut it out? She wondered; do we not want to see what we have not seen, to feel what we have not felt? The universe is so big, it robs us of any illusion of significance, leaves us small and unimportant, that's why humans dislike the night. What about me? Will I shrink from the revelations that tonight has shown me? No, she thought fiercely, I may be a human but I won't be a sheep. Besides not all humans hide, some have been brave enough to come out, and many of them are famous for it, look at Galileo and the other astronomers, they saw the value of the night. After all, in the end everyone must face the night, even those who hide from it; it is an inescapable truth that despite our pride in our tall buildings and inventions we can never conquer the night.

Tonight has certainly been an experience, she thought, as she prepared to sleep. I have discovered more about my race than anyone could ever have told me and at the same time I have found that I myself am not what I always thought I was. I am so much deeper than I ever knew. I wonder if I will remember that when I wake up tomorrow and the sun is shinning. So often dreams seem silly in the day time, maybe feelings do too. I hope not though I don't want to lose this.